More govt means more advertising

We spend more on choosing “laundry detergent” than we do on choosing our representatives.  From It’s shocking how little was spent on the midterms:

Two days before the election on “Face the Nation,” CBS’s Bob Schieffer asked viewers to name one item whose costs have gone up as much over time as campaigns. That’s easy. While campaign spending soared to $3.67 billion this year from $1.6 billion in 1998, federal government spending rose 5% faster, to $3.9 trillion from $1.65 trillion.

It is logical that these expenditures have gone up in tandem. The bigger the federal government, the more is at stake, and the harder politicians and special interests fight to see who gets to control it. If the federal government were still the 2% to 3% of GDP that it was a century ago, people likely wouldn’t care as passionately about the outcome of most elections…

Many who express the most outrage about campaign expenditures—liberal interest groups such as Public Citizen, or politicians such as Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi —frequently are cheerleaders for the even faster growth in government spending. If they want less spent on campaigns, then put less at stake: Make government smaller…

By comparison, a single private company, Procter & Gamble , spent nearly a third more on advertising in 2013—$4.9 billion—than all political campaigns combined for federal offices spent in the current two-year election cycle…

As government spending and involvement in our daily lives has increased, it is only natural that people will want to spend more money to influence the selection of who wields that power. Growing campaign spending is a symptom, not the cause, of what ails our democracy.

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